TPC Racing drivers scored four podiums over the IMSA weekend at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), earning a pair of trophies in Tom Kerr’s IMSA Lamborghini Super Trofeo debut and picking up a pair of top finishes with Efrin Castro in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama’s Gold Cup class.
In addition to the strong weekends by Kerr and Castro, Vernon McClure put himself in position to score Platinum Cup Masters podiums each day before mechanical gremlins left him just laps shy of the finish.
Kerr shifted to Lamborghini Super Trofeo beginning with the VIR round after running with TPC Racing in Porsche Cup previously. Despite treating the weekend as a learning experience for his brand-new No. 74 The Vein & Vascular Institute of Tampa Bay/Lamborghini Sterling Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO, Kerr finished third in LB Cup during each 50-minute race.
In Porsche GT3 Cup, Castro fought back each day to score his podium finishes. During Saturday’s 45-minute battle, Castro was issued a drive though penalty for jumping the start and was called in from the lead of the race, falling back to fourth and working his way through the field to the podium. On Sunday, a spin left him out of contention in the No. 65 TPC Racing/Fine Fresh Supermarkets Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, but a late race full-course caution gave him new life. With just two laps to go, Castro battled through the field to make up two positions and earn runner-up points to hold onto second place in the young championship.
Two separate fuel pickup troubles in the No. 10 Main Street Homes/TPC Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup proved an unfortunate end to a pair of great runs for McClure. During Saturday’s race, McClure worked through the field, which started Saturday’s race based on points following the cancellation of qualifying for track repairs, and was sitting safely third in his class with one lap to go before the first gremlin struck and ended his day. On Sunday, McClure climbed to second before pulling into pit lane with an issue. He was classified fifth on Saturday, and sixth on Sunday.
TPC Racing will continue to run in both championships, returning to action in less than two weeks at Road Atlanta, September 4-6. Both the Lamborghini Super Trofeo and the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Challenge USA fields will run doubleheader races during the Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Harris Levitas, Director of Race Operations: “It was a really good weekend for TPC Racing. To go home with four trophies is a successful weekend. I feel horrible for Vernon with the luck that he had at his home race. Racing has really high highs and really low lows. Efrin did an amazing job to keep some solid points in this championship. I’m absolutely thrilled for Tom. To finish the weekend the way he did, to stay consistent with the Lamborghini. We have to say thank you to Lamborghini Sterling, Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Chris Ward, the technical guys from Lamborghini, it was a fantastic effort by everybody. The TPC Racing crew worked so hard all weekend, and with at we wouldn’t be here. Hats off to everybody. It was a really solid weekend, we got some really solid points, and we’ll move forward to Road Atlanta in just over a week and a half.”
Thomas Kerr, Driver, No. 74 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO: “The cars are faster and more powerful, they seem to handle better. It was my first race and I wanted to stay clean. Everybody was spinning off in practice and qualifying. It was my first weekend with this car, we just got it two weeks ago. I didn’t want to take it off track but I wanted to run a respectful race. I played it safe and brought the car back in one piece.”
Efrin Castro, Driver, No. 65 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Gold Cup): “The guys at TPC Racing gave me a great car today. It was a lot of work and there was a lot of battle there. I made one mistake midway through the race, but I was able to get back on track and got myself together and kept pushing. From then on, I was doing my best laps of the race. I was very fortunate that the yellow came out. I was fighting for first place, but at the end we finished second and I am very happy with this finish.”